Author Chris Nelder cites four main reasons for his assessment:
- the cost - in dollars and energy - of the technology is so high - he provides a revealing table from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office - that only a carbon tax could level the playing field for CCS;
- the existence of cheaper alternatives - including a rapidly expanding solar market that finds more and more instances where solar is at or below grid parity without subsidies;
- the need for massive government subsidies for the technology; and
- the chronic inability of at-scale CCS demonstration projects to get off the ground.
All that said, conditions could change. Capture technology is evolving - though not rapidly enough. And the shale gas boom could, with CCS, morph from to a near zero carbon form of energy. Given what at this point is the need for an "all of the above" strategy to combat disastrous climate disruption, I think research and demonstrations of CCS should continue - with a vastly enhanced sense of urgency. At least, CCS could be viewed as another hedge that may be needed to soften the coming climate blows.